Meeting of August 13, 2015

Herb Kaufman on “‘Frankly my dear:’ Hollywood and the Civil War”

Poster_-_Gone_With_the_WindClark Gable, John Wayne, Errol Flynn, Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman, Olivia de Havilland, and Sally Field are but a few of the countless notable Hollywood stars who appeared in motion pictures that have the Civil War as their narrative. Some of the films were frivolous (only Hollywood could make a Civil War comedy); others were based on actual experiences and events; many were based on historical novels; and all are designed to entertain.

While no Civil War film captures the breadth and depth of the full experience of the war, there are some notable Civil War films that teach about the war and others are noteworthy for absurdity, and simply for sugar-coating reality.

This program presented many of the notable, interesting and more remarkable films that capture different perspectives about the Civil War. It examined the writers, novels, and the films, many of which have become iconic depictions of this historic era.

August 2015 Newsletter

Meeting of July 9, 2015

John Jorgensen on “The Southern War Against the Confederacy: Unionism in the Seceding States”

John JorgensenThe American Civil War is remembered primarily as a contest between North and South; however, the reality of wartime identity politics was far more complex than this regional narrative admits. As many as one Southern soldier in ten served in the “Northern” army (and this number excludes as many as two hundred thousand ex-slaves who swelled the Federal ranks!). The Union Navy’s highest ranking officer was a Southerner. Four Confederate states (not counting West Virginia) elected pro-Union governors during the conflict, and on the last day of the war, the President of the United States was a man who called a Confederate city home.

John examined the diversity of Southern opinion on the issues that lay at the heart of the war. He took a broad look at some of the many ways in which Unionists in the South contributed to the Federal war effort, politically and militarily. And he began to answer the question, How did the war come to be remembered as North versus South in spite of all this?

The son of a noted Gettysburg scholar, John Jorgensen is a history teacher from Woodbridge, NJ. He holds a BA in Political Science from Fairfield University and a Masters in Social Studies Education from Rutgers University. In one way or another, the American Civil War has been a lifelong passion for him.

July 2015 Newsletter

Upcoming Local Civil War Events, Summer 2015

Saturday and Sunday June 27-28, 10am-5pm

Civil War at Hagley weekend: Bruce Tucker and other re-enactors from the USS Lehigh Crew Naval Reenacting Group will provide living history demonstrations and a variety of activities. Discover what life aboard a Union vessel would have been like. Wilmington, DE
$14.00 adults, $10.00 seniors and students, $5.00 children 6-14
http://www.Hagley.org/event/civil-war-hagley

Wednesday July 1, 7pm

Jim Sontagata, secretary, CW Forum of Metropolitan NY, “The Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War”. Robert E. Lee CWRT at Woodbridge Main Public Library at G. Frederick Plaza, Woodbridge.

July 1, 7pm

Randy Drais, “Exploring the Gettysburg Battlefield: Lesser Known Monuments, Markers, and Stories”. Bucks County CWRT, Doylestown Brough Hall, 57 W. Court Street, Doylestown.

Friday July 3, 2pm

Free lawn concert at Washington’s Headquarters, Morristown. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. Music by “The Fife and Drums of the Old Barracks”.

NJ National Guard Museum is open for the summer. The museum tells the history of NJ through the eyes of the military, as well as, an important state and national venue, where governors enjoyed their summers and entertained Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and Amelia Earhart, among others. The display features the only CW cannon mounted on a carriage in any NJ museum, as well as, photographs, uniforms, weapons, equipment, and other artifacts from the 18th through the 21st centuries illustrating the story of NJ’s citizen soldiers from Colonial days to the present, a special NJ at D-Day exhibit and an exterior collection of armored vehicles and aircraft. Located in the historic National Guard Training Center at Camp Drive, Sea Girt Avenue, Sea Girt, NJ

Upcoming Local Civil War Events, Spring 2015

Saturday, February 14,  11 AM – 2 PM

Open House at the Union League Free tours of the historic Civil War era Union League House at 140 S. Broad St. Philadelphia.  Call 215-563-6500 for details.

Wednesday, February 18    2 PM
Annual Temple University Black History Conference, Lincoln, Emancipation and the End of the Civil War 

Civil War & Emancipation Studies at Temple University (CWEST) sponsor. Walk Auditorium, Ritter Hall, 13th St & Cecil B. Moore Ave on Main Campus of Temple University.  Speakers; books; discussion; displays. Free. Register:  andy.waskie@temple.edu 215-204-5452

Saturday, February 21      10 AM
Annual Major Octavius V. Catto Honor Ceremony.

6th & Lombard Streets, Philadelphia, PA.   Wreath-Laying ceremony. Participants welcomed.  PA National Guard Award Ceremony to follow at 12:30pm in the Union League for the Major Catto Medal Award Ceremony.  Information: Dr. Andy Waskie 215-204-5452   andy.waskie@temple.edu

Saturday, March 21   8:30 AM – 5 PM

Abraham Lincoln Institute, Eighteenth Annual Symposium, The Latest in Lincoln Scholarship

Ford’s Theatre, 511 Tenth Street, Washington, DC.  On the program: Terry Alford, Richard Wightman Fox, Martha Hodes, Jonathan White and Dr. Stephen A. Goldman.

http://www.lincoln-institute.org/symposia/sym2013/index.htm

April 25-26

26th Annual Neshaminy State Park Civil War Reenactment,  Bensalem, PA

May 16

Monmouth County Library’s Manalapan Music Muster: The Civil War in Song (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Join us for this very special concert with performances from the Libby Prison Minstrels, Joe Becton, The Susquehanna Travellers, Jed Marum, Helen Beedle, The Irish Volunteers Civil War Band and Steve Ball and Lisa Williams. Hear the stories behind the songs as these talented musician/historians perform the music soldiers heard around the campfires and their families heard at home. Dr. David Martin, historian and author of over 20 books on the Civil War will offer the keynote address on the importance of music in the Civil War. Weather permitting, there will also be an encampment of Civil War re-enactors outside of the library to answer questions about the lives of soldiers during the War. This event is co-sponsored by the New Jersey Civil War Heritage Association and made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council on the Humanities. Contact: 732-431-7220 x7222

May 17

Civil War Living History Day at Manor College, Jenkintown, PAManor College Civil War Event May 2015

May 23

Memorial Day Service at General Winfield Scott Hancock Tomb

June 13

Old Baldy CWRT Trip to Woodlands Cemetery in West Philadelphia

Brochure and signup form: Woodlands Cemetery Tour Brochure

Trip to Woodlands Cemetery

Old Baldy CWRT Trip to Woodlands Cemetery in West Philadelphia

Location: 4000 Woodland Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Date: Saturday, June 13, 2015

Time: 10:00 AM to about Noon

Cost: $10.00 Per Person (Cemetery Charge)

Cemetery Tour Guide: James Mundy

Click here for the brochure and sign-up form: Woodlands Cemetery Tour Brochure

Meeting of June 11, 2015

Jane Peters Estes on “The Battle of Gettysburg: Where Were the Women?”

Jane Peters EstesFrom the best known to the most obscure, this program discussed the many roles filled by women during the deadliest battle of the Civil War. With information gleaned from diaries, letters, and newspapers of the period, many parts of this program are told in the actual words of the women who lived through the battle.

Jane Peters Estes has been a living historian and active member of Delaware Valley region historical organizations for almost 30 years. Her current affiliations include; Historical Military Impressions, GAR Museum, 26th and 28th PA Volunteers, Mount Holly Historical Society, New Jersey Civil War Heritage Association, General Meade Society, and the Union Patriotic League. She has had articles published in Civil War Lady Magazine, Citizen’s Companion Magazine, Philadelphia Bride Magazine, and People Magazine.

Jane last shared some of her expertise with members of OBCWRT in 2011 when she presented “Christmas Past,” a delightful overview of the origins of many of our Christmas traditions. Her many programs and presentations include: Civil War Nurses, Fashions of the 1860s, Grave Matters (Victorian Mourning Customs), Wedding Customs and Traditions, Women’s Lifestyles of the 1860’s, Vivandieres, Pets of the Past, and The Battle of Gettysburg: Where Were the Women?

June 2015 Newsletter

Meeting of May 14, 2015

The Scheier Brothers on “Civil War Women: Nurses, Leaders, Soldiers, and Spies”

Scheier BrothersThe Scheier Brothers described the contributions of dedicated northern and southern women during the war.

Benjamin and David Scheier, veterans of the Union Army, are composite characters based on actual soldiers’ memoirs, diaries, and other historical records and reflect the experiences and attitudes of soldiers of the era.

The brothers related what everyday life was like, as seen from the perspective of those who served. David told how women served in the Civil War, not always as nurses, but also as women in disguise who fought alongside their husbands. In time, David revealed that “his” name is Sarah, and that “he” is actually Benjamin’s wife, one of the hundreds of married and single women who hid their gender and honorably served as soldiers. Sarah has many tales to tell about women who served as soldiers, nurses, and as spies.

Robert Silverman and Diana Newman, the creators of Benjamin and David Scheier, are Civil War living historians with experience teaching and serving as docents at museums. Robert is a veteran and also serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey Foundation. They reside in Long Branch, NJ.

They created the characters of Benjamin and David Scheier for the purpose of presenting history in an easily accessible and historically accurate way. The Scheier Brothers presentations follow several themes, ranging from the everyday lives of soldiers, to the participation of women, and especially New Jersey women, in the Civil War, and also Civil War mascots. The brothers visit in character; punctuated with period photographs, art, and humor. They may even sing a song or two if time permits.

May 2015 Newsletter

Meeting of April 9, 2015

Don Wiles on “Transport to Hell: SS Sultana, An American Tragedy”

SS Sultana (Library of Congress)

SS Sultana (Library of Congress)

The worst maritime disaster in America occurred April 27,1865, north of Memphis on the Mississippi River. A steamship that was being used to transport returning Union prisoners of war from Confederate prisons to their homes in the Midwest area of the country exploded and sunk. There are a lot of mysteries and questions about the SS Sultana tragedy. The new technologies of steamboat engines, the making of repairs, the greed and conspiracies of Army officers and the Sultana officer, the amount of prisoners put on the ship, the operation of the ship on the flooded Mississippi, the government investigations, the trial to fix blame, the rescue and recovery efforts of the Navy and civilians, why was there no outcry from Americans, how could they ignore approximately 1700 dead from this disaster and now the question of sabotage.

A subject of the Civil War that had been forgotten from the time it happened up to the 1960s (one book was written in 1892). Several books and articles have now been researched and written starting in the 1960s. And now the Sultana’s location has been found and the possible excavation of the remains may be in the future. After 150 years a lot of questions are still unanswered.

An ancestor of Don’s was a prisoner in Andersonville and was on the Sultana and survived. Hear his unique story.

Don Wiles is a member of Old Baldy CWRT and is an amateur historian whose main interest is Gettysburg. His interest in the Sultana was generated by his interest in his family’s genealogy. Don is retired from 50 years as an Illustrator for industrial and commercial companies. He worked at the Kennedy Space Center doing illustrations for the Astronauts, NASA and companies during the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Soyuz, Shuttle, and various Satellite programs. He also did an illustration of the missile cruiser CG 64 Gettysburg for the commissioning in Philadelphia. Don lives in Mount Laurel, New Jersey.

April 2015 Newsletter

Meeting of March 12, 2015

Herb Kaufman on “The Medical Treatment of Our Assassinated Presidents”

man at a podium

Herb Kaufman

Over the years, many, many questions concerning the treatment of our assassinated Presidents have been raised. Beginning with the shooting of President Lincoln in 1865, this presentation examined the medical methods and treatment of our four assassinated presidents: Would President Lincoln have lived with modern medical treatment? Did the doctors really kill President Garfield? Why was President McKinley not taken to a hospital? How did the medical team approach the treatment of President Kennedy? These and other questions were answered in this presentation, “The Medical Treatment of Our Assassinated Presidents.”

We followed the circumstances of their shooting, explore the medical practices of that era, and analyze the medical advances or lack thereof, over the decades that intervened between the assassinations.

Herb Kaufman has been a life-long student of the Civil War era. He is a founding member of the faculty of the Civil War Institute at Manor College, and has taught life long learning courses on a wide variety of Civil War topics at a number of local universities and community groups. He is a well known speaker on a variety of topics relating to the era of the Civil War having presented programs to civic and community groups, and educational and historical associations throughout the Philadelphia area. Continue reading

Meeting of February 12, 2015

Hugh Boyle on “Presidential Assassins”

presidential assassinsFour men have taken the lives of American presidents. Their murderous acts have changed the course of American politics. Who were these murderers? Why did they do it? What did they hope to gain? What brought them to commit these crimes? This is their stories and what brought them to these tragic conclusions.

Hugh Boyle is a founding member and president of the Delaware Valley Civil War Round Table and the April 1865 Society. He serves on the faculty of the Civil War Institute at Manor College in Jenkintown, PA, where he teaches courses on Abraham Lincoln’s life and assassination as well as other Civil War topics. He also serves as Executive Director of the GAR Library and Museum. He is on the board of directors of the annual Bensalem Reenactment. He is a member of the Surratt Society and the General Meade Society and the Abraham Lincoln Association. He is a member of the Lincoln Forum and a book reviewer for Lincoln Herald magazine. He is the former publisher and book review editor of the “Civil war Brigadier” newspaper. He has given lectures to Civil War Round Tables, Museums, Historical Societies and civic groups. He has spoken at seminars and symposiums on Abraham Lincoln, his life his presidency and death. He is now retired from his position as National Sales Manager of Roadpro 12 volt electronics and lives with his wife Rose in Bensalem, PA.

February 2015 Newsletter